With the busy life of the modern man leaving him with minimal time to take care of their health, more men seem to be dealing with avoidable health problems. But what if you could effortlessly improve your overall health with a simple diet that includes mushrooms?
Few men know that functional mushrooms can reignite and spice up their intimate life, boost their fertility, improve their results in the gym, and help them fight stress and depression, all while improving their immune health.
However, which mushrooms should men use? What benefits should males expect from these functional mushrooms? These questions are common among men curious about boosting their health naturally. Read on to find detailed answers to these questions.
The Top Mushrooms That Boost Men's Health
The male health space is quite complicated—there is no shortage of health supplements for men. Unfortunately, while these supplements provide some benefits for men, the trade-off often involves severe and unanticipated side effects.
This is why functional mushrooms win the gold medal every time it comes to boosting overall male health. The best functional mushrooms carry a combination of bioactive compounds that boost your overall health in multiple ways without causing adverse effects (if you use a doctor-approved dosage).
Below, we will focus on the health benefits of the following functional mushrooms for men:
- Lion's mane
- Turkey tail
Read More:See all the benefits of Maitake mushrooms.
14 Mushroom Benefits For Men You Shouldn't Miss
1. Functional Mushrooms Are Packed With Nutrients
Edible mushrooms are high in fiber, vitamins (riboflavin/vitamin B2, niacin, folates, and traces of vitamin B1, B12, C, D, and E(1)), minerals, and amino-acid-packed protein. Each of these nutrients has a direct, positive impact on your overall health.
Amino acids fight muscle mass loss, and Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption to improve overall bone health and prevent old-age joint pain. Beta-glucans trigger an effective host immunity to protect against bacterial, parasitic, fungal, and viral infections. Moreover, mushrooms are also low in fat and calories, helping you avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Read More: See the nutritional content and values of Maitake mushrooms.
2. Medicinal Mushrooms Boost Your Energy Levels
Cordyceps mushrooms came into the global spotlight when Olympic runners attributed their victory to the mushroom. Although you may not exactly run a marathon, Cordyceps will help you through the hustle and bustle of your day by keeping you energetic.
One study(2) confirmed that Cordyceps sinensis enhances the exercise performance of older people by boosting their energy levels.
If you often wake up tired in the morning, adding a taste of cordyceps mushroom to your foods could be an ideal way to eliminate fatigue. Unlike energy drinks that often provide a spike of energy followed by a blood glucose crash that leaves you craving more, functional mushrooms play their part for long periods, keeping you energized throughout the day while keeping the fatigue at bay.
Read More: See how cordyceps boosts energy.
3. Medicinal Mushroom Supplements Boost Your Libido
Many men experience a common issue at some point: a loss of libido. Because of alterations in hormonal levels, stress, reduced immunity, and aging, it is typical for a person's sexual activity to change throughout their life. Medicinal mushrooms, however, do improve male libido.
Cordyceps, for example, has long been sought after for its aphrodisiac properties. As a result, the mushroom is sometimes referred to as "Himalayan Viagra"!
Read More: See how cordyceps boost libido in males.
4. Mushroom Supplements Boost Male Fertility
Functional mushrooms do not just boost your sex desire—they also perform the essential role of leveling up male fertility. Cordyceps, for example, does this by increasing sperm count, reducing sperm malformation, and increasing sperm survival rate.
A review published in 2016(3) explored the role of Cordyceps sinensis in male fertility. Researchers found that the Cordyceps sinensis supplement can increase sperm count by 33% and decrease sperm malformation by 29%. Likewise, the mushroom also increased the survival rate of sperm by a staggering 79%.
Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum, is also often called the magic mushroom of the bedroom(although it is far from the actual magic mushroom)! The evaluation of the aphrodisiac activity of Reishi extract in male rats was performed in a 2018 study(4), where the results showed that the fungi significantly increased the mating performance and mounting behavior of the rats.
5. Functional Mushroom Powder Boosts Your Testosterone Level
Testosterone is crucial for various physical and psychological functions such as muscle growth and bone density, libido, fertility, red blood cell production, and mood. Functional mushrooms contain compounds that enhance steroid hormones like testosterone.
Cordyceps sinensis and militaris boast the ability to boost testosterone production. The effects of Cordyceps sinensis on testosterone production were assessed in an experimental study on mice(5). Leydig cells, the primary source of testosterone or androgens in males, were stimulated to produce the hormone by proteins and polysaccharides extracted from the mushroom. The fungus significantly stimulated testosterone production, according to the results.
Read More: See how cordyceps promotes testosterone production.
6. Medicinal Mushrooms Fight Stress
Men have to face stress in their day-to-day activities. Luckily, one of the essential benefits of mushrooms for men is that they are adaptogens.
Reishi, Lion's mane, and Cordyceps regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary(6) (HPA) axis and cortisol release, increasing the body's energy output. This is how adaptogens balance the stress response, helping the body adapt to stress and improving overall mood.
According to some rodent research, Cordyceps sinensis(7) may lower stress-related markers and boost resistance to stressful situations. Likewise, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha levels, which rise in response to stress, are decreased by Lion's mane mushroom(8).
Reishi mushrooms(9) support the adrenal glands' health and function, controlling the production of the stress hormone cortisol and aiding the body's reaction to stress.
Research indicates(10)that chronic and acute stress are both associated with inflammatory activity. Research also supports(11) that edible mushrooms have anti-inflammatory activity that boosts wellness and eliminates stress.
7. Mushrooms Promote Male Cognitive Health
Common cognitive health issues affecting men include Alzheimer's, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Men can avoid these cognitive function issues by adding nutritional, functional mushrooms to their diet.
Research has shown(12) Lion's mane fights Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD while boosting memory and mood.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights ADHD and other related cognitive function problems.
A study conducted in 2022(13) confirmed that Cordyceps mushroom is effective in treating depression. In addition, research has also shown(14) that the reishi mushroom effectively fights depression and anxiety, two of the most common cognitive function problems in the United States.
8. Superfood Mushrooms Fight Excessive Testosterone
Excessive testosterone can increase your risk of prostate cancer, baldness, acne, and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). However, several medicinal mushrooms are known to lower testosterone, helping you avoid these ailments.
It is well known that Reishi mushroom can inhibit the activity of 5 alpha reductases(15). This stops testosterone from becoming dihydrotestosterone, which is testosterone's active form.
Reishi also reduces the growth of prostatic tissues brought on by testosterone. Additionally, both types of 5 alpha-reductase enzymes can be inhibited by Ganoderma lucidum extracts, which might be helpful for BPH treatment.
9. Functional Fungi Support Heart Health
Supplements made from medicinal mushrooms improve heart health. In addition, they help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to studies(16), Lion's mane is one of the best antioxidants—the mushroom extract stops fat oxidation in the bloodstream. The antioxidant quality of Lion's mane mushrooms also prevents the inflammation of blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart disease and enhancing longevity.
In addition, the hericenone found in lion's mane mushrooms also prevents blood clots, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Another mushroom used to support the heart and cardiovascular system is Cordyceps. They have been used(17) in some Asian countries to stabilize the heartbeat and treat heart arrhythmias.
Additionally, cordyceps mushrooms have been demonstrated to impact the blood circulation of the heart and brain. Functional mushrooms also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart disease.
10. Functional Mushrooms Support Weight Loss
Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnea, certain cancers, and sexual problems such as decreased testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction. In addition, overweight men may also experience mental health problems like increased stress, low self-esteem, and depression.
The risks associated with obesity can be avoided by leveraging functional mushrooms—in addition to providing minerals like potassium and zinc, mushrooms also facilitate weight loss.
Research studies have shown(18) that Lion's mane improves fat metabolism, accelerating weight loss. Moreover, mushrooms like Lion's mane, reishi, and Chaga accelerate weight loss by reducing the number of calories men consume daily—the mushrooms are high in fiber content, keeping men full for longer and reducing the need for snacking.
11. Mushrooms Support Muscle Growth
Mushrooms have potential benefits for supporting muscle growth by providing protein and antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress.
Some mushrooms, like shiitake, contain high protein levels necessary for muscle growth and repair. Furthermore, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activity benefit men by reducing oxidative stress, which can hinder muscle growth and recovery. Additionally, mushrooms have been shown to have immune-boosting properties, which are essential for optimal muscle growth and recovery.
Read More: See our detailed guide on how mushrooms promote muscle growth.
In addition to giving you a masculine physique, mushrooms help you avoid joint pain by accelerating your muscle growth. Muscles protect your joints from the impact of various day-to-day activities that might cause joint pain in old age.
12. Mushrooms Improve Gut Health
Gut bacteria regulate digestion and nutrient absorption, support the immune system and produce essential vitamins and metabolic compounds. Therefore, disruptions to the gut microbiome, such as from an unhealthy diet, stress, or antibiotics, can lead to a wide range of gut health issues and have far-reaching effects on overall health.
Research shows(19) that edible mushrooms act as prebiotics, stimulating healthy gut bacteria growth and conferring health benefits to men. In addition, the anti-inflammatory activity of mushrooms also improves gut health, reducing the risk of inflammation.
13. Mushrooms Fight Hair Loss and Improve the Skin
Hair loss is a widespread condition among men, affecting approximately two-thirds of men at some point in their lives. Moreover, research has confirmed(20) that men report higher fungal skin infections and psoriasis rates than women.
Mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga fight hair loss and improve the skin, leaving men with shiny, healthy hair and skin that does not feature blemishes. In addition, research has confirmed(21) that Betulinic Acid, one of the bioactive compounds in Chaga, is effective in treating skin conditions like psoriasis.
14. Mushrooms Prevent Prostate Cancer
According to the World Cancer Research Fund International(22), prostate cancer ranks as the second most prevalent type of cancer among men and is fourth in overall incidence among all cancers.
Research conducted in 2020(23) revealed that habitual mushroom consumption might help prevent prostate cancer.This is because mushrooms boast high amounts of antioxidants, which fight different types of free radical damage often associated with the development of prostate cancer.
FAQs About Mushroom Benefits For Men
Are Mushrooms Good for Male Fertility?
Mushrooms contain high levels of zinc, which can enhance sexual health and boost fertility by impacting the genital organs, particularly in males.
Zinc also allows for more potent and sustained erections in men, with regular consumption of mushrooms high in zinc increasing sperm count and improving fertility in men. In addition, mushrooms like Lion's mane boost testosterone production, which benefits male fertility.
Do Functional Mushrooms Support Men During Workouts?
Yes, functional mushrooms can support men during workouts. Certain functional mushrooms, such as cordyceps, reishi, and lion's mane, contain compounds that can improve physical performance and endurance, boost energy levels, and reduce fatigue. They may also support recovery after workouts and reduce muscle soreness.
Read More: See why men take Lion's mane pre-workout.
What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Mushrooms For Men?
When it comes to mushroom dosage for men, there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead, different men will respond to different mushroom dosages.
Moreover, different mushrooms will feature varying dosages—for example, the dosage for Lion's mane will be different from that of a Chaga mushroom.The best way to determine the best dosage for a specific mushroom is to speak to a healthcare professional before taking the mushroom.
Can Men Consume Mushrooms Safely On A Long-Term Basis?
Men can consume mushrooms safely on a long-term basis. Functional mushrooms rarely cause side effects—if they cause a side effect, they are usually very mild and disappear quickly.
However, men with mushroom allergies (or other types of allergies) should speak to their doctor before including any functional mushroom in their diet.Also, men using other medications—for example, diabetes, blood thinning, or blood pressure medications—should talk to their doctor to avoid dangerous interactions between the functional mushrooms and their pharmaceutical drugs.
Read More: Learn about Lion's mane drug interactions.
How Long Do The Benefits Of Mushrooms For Men Last?
The duration of mushroom benefits can vary depending on several factors, including the type of mushroom, the dose consumed, and the individual's health status.
Some benefits, such as improved immunity, better memory, and antioxidant effects, may last longer with regular consumption. However, for specific health concerns or chronic conditions—like diabetes and high blood pressure—consuming mushrooms for a more extended period may be necessary to see sustained benefits.
How Can Men Include Mushrooms In Their Diet To Reap The Benefits?
To include mushrooms in your diet and reap their benefits, try adding fresh mushrooms to salads, stir-fries, soups, or stews. You can also use dried mushrooms in sauces, broths, or soups or add mushroom powders or extracts to smoothies or teas to improve your memory and overall health. Supplement options such as capsules, powders, or extracts are also available as a convenient way to consume mushrooms.
Read More:Use our hand-picked Lion's mane mushroom recipes to make a healthy meal.
The medicinal mushroom benefits for men include providing adequate nutrition, boosting libido, supporting heart health, and calming nerves. Functional fungi also balance testosterone levels, protecting you from an enlarged prostate or cancer.
The best mushrooms for men's health are Reishi, Lion's mane, Maitake, Turkey Tail, Chaga, and Cordyceps. Mixing these with your morning coffee or an afternoon smoothie will be a game-changer for your life!
Have you used functional mushrooms before? What mushroom benefits for men did you enjoy? Let us know in the comment section.
- Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320875/
- Effect of Cs-4® (Cordyceps sinensis) on Exercise Performance in Healthy Older Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110835/
- Review of Naturopathy of Medical Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps Sinensis, in Sexual dysfunction, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791983/
- Evaluation of aphrodisiac activity of ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum in male Wistar rats, (4)https://clinphytoscience.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40816-018-0086-7
- In vivo and in vitro stimulatory effects of Cordyceps sinensis on testosterone production in mouse Leydig cells, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12899935/
- A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide, (6)https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9
- Antifatigue and Antistress Effect of the Hot-Water Fraction from Mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis, (7)https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/26/5/26_5_691/_article
- Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855563/
- A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240259/
- The Interplay Between Stress, Inflammation, and Emotional Attention: Relevance for Depression, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491771/
- Mushrooms: A Potential Natural Source of Anti-Inflammatory Compounds for Medical Applications, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258329/
- Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) Exerts Anxiolytic Effects in the rTg4510 Tau Mouse Model, (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9312024/
- Exploring the mechanisms of action of Cordyceps sinensis for the treatment of depression using network pharmacology and molecular docking, (13)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9011256/
- Ganoderma lucidum Effects on Mood and Health-Related Quality of Life in Women with Fibromyalgia, (14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712001/
- 5alpha-reductase inhibitory effect of triterpenoids isolated from Ganoderma lucidum, (15)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16462054/
- Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (lion's mane mushroom), (16)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/
- Medicinal Value of the Caterpillar Fungi Species of the Genus Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes). A Review, (17)https://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,1b05160a735f1b4e,34bf0bcb5f7959a7.html
- Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats, (18)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714447/
- A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota, (19)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/
- Psychosocial impact of skin diseases: A population-based study, (20)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7775076/
- Betulinic acid suppresses Th17 response and ameliorates psoriasis-like murine skin inflammation, (21)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31129421/
- Prostate cancer statistics, (22)https://www.wcrf.org/cancer-trends/prostate-cancer-statistics/
- Mushroom consumption and incident risk of prostate cancer in Japan: A pooled analysis of the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study, (23)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7154543/
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